LETTERS: President’s visit

President Bidhya Devi Bhandari began her five-day state visit to India on the invitation of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee “President begins India visit” (THT, April 18, Page 1).

Her earlier visit was postponed at the eleventh hour due to an unfavourable political environment in Nepal.

This state visit is seen by political experts as an important event in the continuation of high level engagement between the political leaderships of the two countries and will contribute to further consolidate the close and friendly relations that exist between Nepal and India.

Anyway, it is hoped that her state visit will help in removing any political misunderstanding between the political leaders of the two countries.

This visit has taken place at a time when the ruling parties and the UML-led opposition parties are trying to hold the local level election on 14 May. On the other hand, the UDMF is set to thwart the elections if the constitution is not amended as per its demands.

Even the recent amendment bill put forward by the government has been flatly rejected by the Madhesi parties. The Indian government continues to suggest that the Madhes-based parties should also be brought on board to participate in the elections.

It was not known why the ruling parties did not consult the agitating parties and get their consent before registering the recent amendment bill. Time is running out fast for the ruling parties to hold the local level election on the scheduled date.

Looking closely at the ongoing political situation, it does not seem that the local level elections will be held peacefully.

Rai Biren Bangdel, Maharajgunj


The recent initiative taken by the Ministry of Health (MoH) regarding the ban on sale and distribution of tobacco products in departmental stores, shops, hotels, restaurants, among others, has helped curb rampant smoking in open places.

However, the ban makes little sense when high profile politicians are found puffing up freely wherever they like. I have seen many smokers puffing up in public places without any hesitation causing a flurry of excitement with their cocky counterpart.

It is an open secret that hotels, restaurants and stores have not halted selling tobacco and alcohol products regardless of the so-called stringent rules unveiled by the government.

Why don’t the police take action against such smokers? Recently, I and my mother were threatened by two plain-clothes policemen.

To our utmost surprise, we were even accused of selling cigarettes, local alcohol and marijuana to young boys despite the fact that she doesn’t sell alcohol products and marijuana.

And this was not the first time that we were harassed by police even if we had not committed any crime. If you bribe them they will simply turn away as if nothing had happened in the area where they conduct inspection.

Unless police personnel work honestly the ban on tobacco and alcohol sale will continue unabated.

Sanjog Karki, Tansen